How to Choose Good Hair and Skin Moisturizers

Isn’t it frustrating to purchase what you think is a good effective moisturizer for your skin or hair to later discover that they are crap?

moisturizers for hair and body

Many so called moisturizer creams and lotions available on the market will actually dry out your skin and hair. If you are anything like I was, you wonder why. After all, the skin and hair moisturizer packages say that they are moisturizers. So, then why is it that after applying these so called moisturizers, you find that your hair and/or your skin is dried out very quickly? Or even more disappointing, you discover that after applying the moisturizer, you don’t see or feel a difference at all. You’re left with the same dry hair or the same dry skin.

I’ve discovered that just because a product label says the word “moisturizer” on it does not mean it is a good effective moisturizer or really a moisturizer at all! You have to investigate further before you buy any product that you are seeking to moisturize your skin or hair with, for any real length of time. This is where the ingredient label tells it all.

Requirements for an Effective Moisturizer

For a moisturizer to be effective, it MUST contain water (or a wetting agent such as aloe vera juice) as the FIRST ingredient. If the first ingredient is anything else (ie. an oil) you may as well put it back on the shelf. It will not do the job no matter what the product manufacturer says.

I am an African American with dry skin and dry hair tendencies and have found that water in my moisturizers is not optional. It is required. This holds true for skin moisturizers and hair moisturizers. The first ingredient must be water/aloe vera juice. Why

It’s simple. These ingredients hydrate. Just like your internal organs require water to be hydrated, so do your skin and hair. However, water alone does not make a moisturizer effective. Right next to and after water on the ingredient list should be an oil. Pure Olive oil, Jojoba oil, Coconut oil, Aloe and Shea butter are all great oils to formulate your skin and hair moisturizer.

Ineffective Ingredients

In contrast to water and an oil being the first two ingredient on the list for an effective moisturizer, there are three ingredients that may very well make your moisturizers ineffective. These would be:

Petroleum and Mineral Oil – These are lubricants that sit right on the surface of the skin or hair and do not penetrate either of these surfaces which is required for true moisturizing to take place.

Isopropyl/Benzyl Alcohol – Alcohol in general is very drying. Remember, before there were acne creams, people used to use alcohol to dry out their pimples? Enough said.

Of course there are certain chemical ingredients that you should also avoid because they are no good for you, but for the sake of this article, which is to point out the ingredients that make a skin and hair moisturizer effective, I won’t get into those.

Three Ingredients with Big Benefits

Once you’ve found a moisturizer with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient and none of the above bad ingredients, there are other ingredients that prove beneficial for the hair and skin. These would be Vitamin E, Keratin and CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10 – generally found in skin care products) are antioxidants and help revive dull, damaged hair and/or skin. Keratin helps to stimulate the growth of cells to produce additional collagen which is required for smooth, supple skin.

So, the next time you go shopping for a moisturizer (which may be when you are done reading this article), make sure that the ingredient label (cream, lotion or spray) reads with water/aloe vera juice as the first ingredient, oil as the second ingredient, no petroleum, no mineral oil and no alcohols. This is essential for good, effective moisturizers. Your hair & skin will notice and feel the difference.

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Michelle Smith

Michelle is a Christian special needs mom residing in the NYC area who shares useful tips to grow and maintain fine natural hair. She’s a published author and Creator of Fine Natural Hair and Faith, inspiring others with faith for living along side knowledge on how to care for their “crown.”


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